Joey Negro integrated his passion for disco music into house music as both a producer and as a remixer, causing many to call his music disco-house. Negro released music under a plethora of monikers for a multitude of record labels throughout the '90s and into the next millennium. Just as importantly, he curated several crucial compilations that gathered underappreciated dance music from the '70s and '80s.
Born as Dave Lee on England's Isle of Wight, Negro's lifelong relationship with dance music began in the late '70s when he began collecting disco, soul, and funk records. In 1986 he moved to London and began working at a record store, Smithers & Leigh. The store closed down a year later, however, and Negro began working for Rough Trade Distribution, starting its dance department, Demix, and working with labels like Rhythm King. Negro started his own label in 1988, Republic Records, and released his first production, M.D.EMM's "Get Busy." Negro would go on to release most of his early productions on Republic over the next few years.
His first release as Joey Negro came in 1991, "Do It Believe It," released on Nu Groove, followed by "Do What You Feel," released on another of his labels, Z Records. Virgin eventually released "Do What You Feel" and the song became both a club hit and a pop hit, resulting in an album deal with the major label. Throughout the remainder of the decade, he continued releasing his productions under an array of monikers and had even more success as a remixer, not to mention his DJing. The compilations of rare disco and post-disco he assembled include Jumpin' (two volumes on Harmless), The Soul of Disco (three volumes on Z), Disco Spectrum (three volumes on BBE), Disco Not Disco (the first two volumes, for Strut), Destination: Boogie (Z), and Backstreet Brit Funk (Z). ~ Jason Birchmeier